Letters - February 23, 2017

Fracking protesters at Preston New Road
Fracking protesters at Preston New Road
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FRACKING

We can all do our bit to discover more

I took a day’s holiday from work this week to spend a few hours at the Preston New Road fracking site with the men and women who have been protesting since work began in early January. Yes, I had many other things I could have been doing with my day off, but so do they. Many have put their lives on hold and risked all in the hope that someone will listen to their concerns.

The support from passing motorists was overwhelming. Clearly, we cannot all put our lives on hold to stand at the side of the road, but we can all do more. The easiest action any of us can take is to reject the bland promises and soundbites peddled by politicians, industry representatives and our mainstream newspapers.

Ask questions and demand answers. Questions need not be complex nor technical, the simplest often proving the hardest to answer. We can all ask questions starting with why, how, where, what, when and who and it is our right to be answered.

Whether for or against fracking, we all have a decision to make about the world we want to leave for our children. So, when you honk you horn or wave your support to a roadside protestor, please be reminded that time for asking your questions is short and the time to regret is long.

I would just like to add one last point for those motorists who shout abuse or feel the need to make rude hand gestures at grandparents, mums, dads and children. The protestors standing on the roadside have not delayed your journey or demanded that you change your view, they are just people trying to be heard.

Duncan Coppersthwaite

Ribby Road

Kirkham

SPORT

Why can’t they limit racing to the flat?

I had mixed feelings after a recent item in the Gazette following the sad death of the Grand National winner Many Clouds.

There was much praise for the guts shown by this horse in all his races, but also fears for his well being before and during his last race. And after a post mortem we learned the cause of death was severe pulmonary haemorrhage due most likely to fractured lung capillaries, and this is what he was suffering as his jockey urged him to more effort to win his last race.

It’s too late now for Many Clouds, but isn’t it time the British Horse Racing Authority looked at the whole business of the jumping side of racing?

As proof that horses seem to be expendable, it came as a shock to me to learn that in just one year (2016) 143 died. This surely cannot be tolerated in a nation of animal lovers. When we watch either hurdles or fences and horses take the most horrific falls, TV commentators are too concerned with who wins the race and often fail to report the fate of the fallers!

If just a small proportion of the horse fatalities caused the deaths of jockeys there would be a totally different response by the authorities.

Why can’t they limit racing to the flat, which in itself can be subject to casualties, but on nothing like the scale of steeple chasing.

Horses are beautiful creatures and don’t deserve to die in such numbers while performing for our racy benefits.

Neil Kendall

Stamford Avenue

South Shore

COMPENSATION

Insurance can help meet care costs

Council tax bills are set to increase to help pay for care for elderly and disabled people, according to latest reports.

A gap in the social care bill could be plugged if disabled people with injuries caused by negligent motorists or employers, for example, were to receive the correct level of compensation to meet their needs. As it stands, taxpayers often pick up the tab.

Large compensation payments for severe injuries are discounted to offset any income which may be made over time through investments. It is supposed to ensure an injured person’s compensation does not exceed the cost of their care, equipment and basic needs. The current rate for the discount is far too high, having been last set in 2001 when interest rates were much higher. Seriously injured people are undercompensated, sometimes by millions of pounds. Families must stake their compensation on risky investments to try to make up the shortfall, or fall back on the social care system.

The Lord Chancellor has promised a new discount rate will be announced this month. The fairest outcome is that insurers must accept their responsibilities and pay what is due from premiums already taken, so the state can be relieved of the responsibility of funding much-needed care.

Neil Sugarman

President

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

EMPLOYMENT

How will we replace these car job losses?

It seems almost inevitable that French carmaker Peugeot will buy GM’s loss-making European arm which will probably mean the closure of the Vauxhall Plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port. This could result in the loss of 34,500 jobs here, but it is understood this might also result in the possible closure of Germany ‘s Opel Cars, but it is understood that their 30,000 jobs have already been promised protection by Germany’s politicians.

EU over-capacity in car manufacturing and our impending Brexit negotiations make it extremely unlikely the French government (16% owners of Peugeot) will provide us with any deals.

So it appears our Government will have the unenviable task of replacing these 34,500 jobs quickly in the near future to add to their other challenges.

EJ Tilley

via email